Filmmaking Tips: From a Story Idea to a Film

Writing for film is about coming up with a winning story idea, transforming it into a screenplay, and finally mounting it into a film.

Transforming an interesting idea into a riveting script requires skill, passion, determination, and creativity. And a scriptwriter should tell powerful and unique stories in a format relevant for the screen.

Coming up with a winning story idea

Work on your story visually – this is different from writing an essay, a novel, or a short story. Establish moods through misé-en-scene and camera work. The audio-visual construction should nurture the dramatic progression of your story.

Maintain your theme and concept. Find your dramatic center. Know your beats, scenes, and sequences.

Write fascinating and powerful characters. Give value to each of them. It’s always good to make a character breakdown in order to really get "into" the characters with focus, direction, and consistency. And by doing so, you keep up with authentic and convincing dialogues as well.

Writing is a part of culture and literature. And in order to make a screenplay work, it is ideal to make the story culturally correct and gender sensitive.

From a solid concept, sharpen it into a storyline. After which, it’s time to make a sequence guide and/or sequence treatment. And finally, turn the sequence guide/treatment into a cutting edge screenplay.

The Writer

Just like each person having a distinct personality, each one also has a different writing style. Moreover, there are those who are really gifted writers. And there are also those who are the “bleeder type” of writers. Gifted ones are those who have such undoubted writing talents innate in them. The bleeder ones are those who need to exert extra efforts to finish their works and make them the best they can be. And yet, by keeping up with the combined efforts and skills, both can be successful in the field.

For a writer, critical thinking is as important as creative thinking. Both intrapersonal and interpersonal communication contribute much to your experiences; thus, you can come up with more sincere stories through them. As a writer, you should explore your writing skills and develop your craft by recognizing your emotions as well as others.

Constant writing, acknowledging experiences, and learning various things in life improve your writing skills. Be a good observer. Have yourself a journal where you put ideas, dreams, quotes, favorite scenes and dialogues from a film, or anything that can inspire you with your writing.

Writer's Challenges

Every kind of writer both has privileges and responsibilities. And for a scriptwriter’s work, what you write is intended to reside within the public domain. And exercising your freedom of expression should keep up with a concern for your audience. Media is a powerful tool. It can be a valuable vehicle for entertainment, for change, for pondering, and for call to action. Therefore, it should be used responsibly.

As a film worker, the various demands on the writer include urgent revisions, deadlines, suddenly shelved project, personal and/or creative friction with people in the production, among others. And you should maintain control in such situations every time. You should be open to compromises and considerations (whether this is due to creative differences, financial limitations, or any other concerns). Keep your creative and yet critical mind. Be open-minded. Be professional.

Being a writer, it is ideal to become a multi-faceted individual who knows how the system effectively works. You should know how to utilize your rights and privileges. You should know how to protect yourself with copyright and intellectual property rights. And you should be responsible and accountable to everything that you write.

Writing a Screenplay

Writing a screenplay can be greatly supported by: exposure to media aesthetics and theories; experiences in film and video production work; and reading/watching/producing literary pieces, books, films, TV programs, plays, events, and other story-driven endeavors.

As a scriptwriter, you should carefully present expressive visual elements. Whether you are doing a comedy or an action-adventure or you are dealing with a controversial theme, the basis of your work must be writing with a good dramatic structure.

Immersion is one of the best ways to get inspiration for a story. By becoming a good observer and by utilizing learning resources and life experiences, you can really create wonderful stories for the big screen.

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